Monday, March 23, 2015

Garden 3.22.15

One of the (many) things I'm most excited about with my new house is that I can have a garden.  The back yard is fenced, and THIS year, I am going to grow more than just tomato plant stumps.  Ha HA! Take that, deer!

Two weekends ago, Emma and I weeded and turned over the soil in two of the four raised beds and planted onions, peas, pak choi, spinach, and two kinds of lettuce.  Those are all coming up now.  See the little green rows in the picture!

This past weekend, I cleaned out the third empty bed, and attacked the overgrown strawberry bed.  I dug out an entire wheelbarrow-full of evil grass runners, and removed a five-gallon bucket full of extra strawberry runners.  Those made some people on Freecycle very happy, and hopefully what's left in my garden will produce well. 

Strawberry bed tidied.

Removing the grass runners was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It was oddly satisfying to pull out those great long strings of grass buried in the beds. The effort was aided greatly by two tools, seen in this picture (which I now see is out of focus, sorry). 

Best grass attackers.

When I moved in, I had a shovel, a trowel, a garden rake, and a leaf rake.  I bought the big spading fork because I thought it would be a lot easier for turning the compost pile than a shovel.  Turns out it's also fabulous for fluffing up raised beds and exposing grass roots.

That gem in my hand, though?  I bought that hand cultivator in a thrift store for a dollar, on a whim, because I've never had one and it was in good shape.  If I hadn't had that, the strawberry bed would still be full of grass.  It got all in around the plants without disturbing them (except for the ones that had to come out), and easily loosened up the grass runners so I could pull them out.  I love it.  I have named it Claw.

It feels really good to know that right now, at this exact moment in time, I'm ahead of the weeds.  It won't last, but right now, I'm winning.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


I had a marathon 4.5-hour eyelet session this evening, and finished all 183 eyelets inside the kloster/buttonhole blocks across the bottom edge of the curtain. 

Row of eyelets finished!

This puts me at roughly 11 hours of effort on the curtain so far, with one 46-inch "row" of stitching complete.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Curtain progress

Here's some progress on my curtains.  Well, only one curtain so far!

Curtain progress

It doesn't look like much yet, but I've got the klosters and buttonhole stitches done across the entire 46-inch bottom edge.

Curtain progress

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Finished edelweiss doily!

Ta Da!

Finished hardanger doily

I'm so happy with the way this came out.  I love the abundance of edelweiss.  After I finished the two rows of five, I agonized about whether to put them on the inner rows of four as well.  I'm glad I did.

Finished hardanger doily

This pattern evolved as I went along- I just put in what seemed right.

Finished hardanger doily

This was so much fun.

Finished hardanger doily

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Edelweiss stitch

More progress on the doily-that-started-as-an-ornament:

Progress on the hardanger doily.

I've gotten to the fun part, and have been using my scissors! Yay!

You might notice that the configuration of the sides changed a little since the first picture I posted of this project. The spaces that used to have three small squares clustered together had the interior walls taken out, and are now the single inverted V-shaped spaces on either side, with woven bars, dove's eyes, and picots to echo the center openwork.  The larger side spaces balance out the multiple small "motif frames" better, I think, and go better with the large center space.

I'm not entirely sold on the clusters of three floating eyelets near the satin stitch motifs, so that's why I only did one side.  If I decide they're too busy I can take them out later, since they're just a pulled thread stitch with no cutting involved. When everything else is done, I'll compare the two sides and either stitch the rest or take out the ones that are there.

You might also notice that one of the motif frames has been filled, with an edelweiss stitch.  This is my favorite filler stitch, and I think that all the frames will be filled with edelweiss.  Maybe.  Maybe just the top and bottom rows.  Or maybe it will be more of a sampler look, with every frame different.  But edelweiss are just so pretty.

I haven't fully decided yet.  This project is obviously evolving as I go along.

The edelweiss stitch starts with cutting out all except the two middle threads from each side of the square frame.

Edelweiss stitch beginning

Then you needleweave in diagonal support bars, and work a whipped spider web (the round center of the flower) for about half the open space.  Then finish it off into the flower shape by working partial Greek crosses (the slanty bits) for the petal tips.

Edelweiss stitch

I haven't forgotten about the curtains (Anne!), but I want to finish this piece first.  :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

That little thrill I get when I'm browsing Pinterest for hardanger ideas, and I come across a photo of one of my pieces that someone else has pinned... that never gets old.